Wednesday, February 2, 2011


This week, I started planning our meals by asking the rest of the family what they would like.  Nathan wanted something with sauerkraut, Tynan wanted potato soup, Aidan wanted something with pasta, Louis wanted pork chops, and Brendan (Nathan's friend who is here several days a week and eats our leftovers) wanted fried chicken.

For Family Sunday Dinner, I decided to make oven fried chicken using one of my mom's recipes.  Brendan is usually here on Sundays and it was was his request.  Since I'm tyring to make a dessert each Sunday, I found a recipe for Harvest Loaf cake that looked easy and good, as well as quite freezable should they not eat it all.

This recipe for Corn Crisped Chicken sounds easy and workable.  As with so many of my mom's recipes, there's really nothing special or unique about this recipe.  In fact, I'm not sure she ever made it for us.  The recipe card is quite unmarked or worn.  Then again, I know I've had similar dishes that my mom made.  Whether they were this particular recipe or not, who knows.

Corn Crisped Chicken

1)  1 tender young broiler-fryer chicken, cut into serving pieces (I used boneless chicken breast, which I marinated in some leftover buttermilk I had).
2)  Dip pieces in 1/2 c. Pet evaporated milk.
3)  Roll in mixture of:
          1 c. Kellogg's corn flake crumbs
          1 1/2 tsp. salt; 1/4 tsp pepper (because I don't follow directions well, I used seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic powder)
4)  Place chicken in shallow baking pan lined with Reynolds wrap
5)  Bake in 350F oven 1 hour or until tender.
Again, there's nothing special about this recipe.  I made a HUGE batch of it and I'm hoping what I froze holds up well. It was well accepted by the family.

To go with the oven-fried chicken, I made Harvest Loaf Cake.  I'm warning you in advance that I didn't read the recipe card carefully and didn't notice that there is a glaze recipe on the back.  I was unprepared to make it,not having any cream on hand.  I wasn't sure what would substitute well (I'm a competent cook, but not skilled at the chemistry of foodstuffs, if you know what I mean).  I didn't want to make a glaze that would ruin two cakes when drizzled on.  I figured I'd dust the cakes with powdered sugar instead.  Who doesn't love things dusted with powdered sugar anyway?

Harvest Loaf Cake

1 3/4 c. flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 t. soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t, salt
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ginger
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 c. butter (I used coconut oil)
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c. canned pumpkin
3/4 c. choc. chips
3/4 c. chopped walnuts

Grease 9x5 loaf pan.  Combine flour with soda, salt and spices.  Cream butter.  Gradually add sugar.  Blend in eggs, beat well.  At low speed add dry ingredients alternately with pumpkin, beginning and ending with dry.  Stir in chips and 1/4 c. nuts.  Turn into pan, sprinkle with rest of nuts.  Bake 350 for 65-75 minutes.  Cool, drizzle with glaze.  Let stand 6 hours before slicing (I have no idea why one might do so, and I didn't.)

Spice Glaze--combine 1/2 c. sifted confectioners sugar, 1/8 t. nutmeg and cinnamon.  Blend in 1-2T. cream until consistency of a glaze.

There is a handwritten note that says:  "Peg, I usally use 2 smaller pans because does make a Big Loaf.  Kay.

This wasn't a huge hit, but no one turned their noses up at it.  It's rather dark and was rather dry.  Kind of bland.  I don't know if using coconut oil instead of butter made a big difference or not.  I've been told it substitutes well.  It was just kind of bland.  I'll make it again, though.

The big surprise this week, though, was the Kielbasa and Gnocchi.  I've never enjoyed sauerkraut.  My husband swears he hates it.  My mother loved it.  My father not so much.  Nathan loves it and suggested it.  So, I dug out a recipe that looked like there'd be something for everyone in it.  Aidan, Louis, and Tynan all like Kielbasa.  Those three also like dumplings.

Kielbasa and Gnocchi

Onions---2 large
Gnocchi---1 pkg
Sauerkraut---1 pkg
Kielbasa--1 1/2 lb
cr. mushroom soup (you didn't think you'd escape that, did you?)

Saute onions in oleo and then add 1 tsp. paprika.  Boil kielbasa (in cold water to start) for about 20 min. (cut in pieces first).  Boil Gnocchi according to directions.

Layer meat, kraut, gnocchi, cr. mushroom soup, and onions.  Add milk if need more liquid.  Bake or in crock pot until ready to eat.  1 hr?
I won't kid you; I was trepidatious.  Nathan and Brendan loved, loved, loved it.  I enjoyed it quite a bit.  Aidan ate it, and most surprising, Louis ate a bowlful.  Tynan wouldn't have anything to do with it.  I doubt Aidan or Louis will ask for it again.

This wasn't a hugely successful week.  Nothing great.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing I remember from my childhood, but recipes out of the recipe box, nonetheless.  They must have seemed good enough to make it into the box to start with.

A week of heavy foods (1/22-1/28/11)

I'm so far behind on updates here.  My intention was to do one a week or so.  Yet, here we are, two weeks behind.  The semester is up and rolling, and my food plan is working well, so well that my freezer is bursting at the seams.  That's all fine and good, but hasn't left me much time for updates here.

Two weeks ago, I rounded out the previous week's comfort food indulgences with more of my mom's comfort foods, and some of the kids' favorites:  Lasagna, Hamburger Stroganoff, hearty Hodge Podge Soup, and Apple Crisp.

The Hamburger Stroganoff is a hit across generations.  My brother's one son adores it (I believe my mother, in knowing so left him a special copy of the recipe before she died) and my boys love it too.  As most of my mother's recipes, it too has cream of something soup in it.  Whatever, cream of whatever haters.  It rocks.

Hamburger Stroganoff
(from Sally W.--I have no clue who she is)

1/2 c. minced onion
1 clove garlic,minced
1/8 c. butter
1 lb. ground beef (I used 2 lbs ground turkey)
2 Tbs. flour
1-8 oz can mushrooms (I used fresh)
10 1/2 oz c. cr. of chicken soup, undiluted
1 c. sour cream
2 tbs. minced parsley (I omitted)

Saute onion and garlic in butter over med heat.  Stir in meat and brown.  Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and mushrooms.  Cook 5 minutes.  Stir in soup.  Simmer uncovered 10 minutes.  Stir in sour cream.  heat thoroughly.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Serve in ring of noodles or rice.  ( I used whole wheat noodles).
And yes, it rocked.  Rocked to the point that the boys almost came to blows over eating the leftovers.  I figure that if I'm using ground turkey, it's ok to use cream of soups, you know?  I know I could substitute the "lite" cream of soups or use light sour cream.  If only Aldi carried those options.....

I served that delight with Apple Crisp, a recipe card not written in my mother's hand and inscribed "for Peggy Hubble" which indicates it came to her after marriage but when she was still young enough to be referred to as "Peggy" OR that the owner of the recipe knew her before marriage when everyone referred to her as Peggy.

Apple Crisp

6 cups (6 med) peeled, sliced cooking apples (I used whatever we had)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water
3/4 c. firmly packed Br. Sugar
1/2 c unsifted flour
1/2 c. rolled oats
1tsp. Cinnamon, if desired (I say the more the merrier)
1/2 c. butter or margarine

Preheat oven 375F.  Slice apples in 8-9 in. sq. pan.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and water.  Combine Br. sugar, flour, rolled oats and cinnamon.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over apples.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender.
Of course, this was a hit:)  And it's not much different than any traditional apple crisp recipe, it was in my mom's recipe box, so it counts!

Also, to freeze, I made a triple batch of Hearty Hodge Podge soup.  It's not much to look at, that's for sure.  Sort of a grayish brown mess.  But it's yummy and satisfying and filling.  And easy to make, too.  I wouldn't recommend tripling the recipe of you don't have a HUGE pot.  Mine wasn't big enough and that caused all sorts of problems.   I didn't really notice that the recipe card says it serves 12-14, and there I went, tripling it.  So, if any of you want any, let me know....I actually did give two quarts away and ended up throwing some away that went bad over time.  I have at least two gallons in the freezer.

Hearty Hodge Podge Soup

1 1/2 lb. Ground beef (I used turkey)
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
3 cans dilute Minestrone (or if you buy the ready to heat, be sure to omit water later on)
1 can pork and bean in tomato sauce (I used vegetarian)
1 1/2 chopped celery
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tbs. Worchestersire sauce
3 c. water

In large sauce pan, cook beef, onion, garlic till beef is browned and onion is tender.  Stir in soup, beans, 3 c. water, celery, W. sauce, and oregano.  Simmer covered for 15-20 min.

This freezes well, thankfully!
And finally, we finished off the week with my mom's lasagna.  It's certainly by no means a traditional lasagna, no more so than her "chili soup" is traditional chili.  However, it is the lasagna I grew up with and it's the lasagna that I think of when I think "lasagna."  We have a whole other one in the freezer just waiting for another week.  There were three small pieces left over.


1 can Italian style peeled tomatoes, size 2 1/2 (I used chopped, and had to look up what a size 2.5 can is, information readily available on the web, so look it up yourself if you need to because now I forget)
1 cup water
1 tps salt
1ps oregano
dash pepper

Simmer uncovered for 1/2 hour.  Ad i can tomato paste and 1 cup water.  Continue simmering meanwhile brown:

1 1/2 lb. ground round steak (again, no surprise, I used ground turkey) in
1/3 c. oil (or less)  (I used coconut oil)
1 tps garlic pwd
1 tps salt
parsley, sprinkle (I omitted)

Add meat to sauce (after draining grease) and simmer 1 hr.

Layer: sauce, noodles, sauce, cheeses ending with layer sauce and sprinkle of Parmesan.

Cheeses:  1 pint (or 2) cottage cheese (mix 1 egg, beaten with) (I used 1 pt. of cottage and 1 pt. of ricotta)
                1 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced (I used grated and used less than a pound)
                Parmesan, grated (please, dear friends, not the gnarly nasty crap with the green label on a plastic
bottle...use the real stuff.  They sell it at Aldi, inexpensively.)

I also used whole wheat lasagna noodles, not the new fangled kind that you don't cook.  I like whole wheat pasta.

Bake 350F for 30 min. (Best made ahead).
I made mine on Saturday and cooked it Wednesday and it was droolishious.

Now I want to thaw the other one and eat it this week, but I shan't.  I shall wait until the middle of February or March when I need a pick me up.